It’s Friday, and nine days of Saints training camp are on the books. After tomorrow’s session, the team will have a day off after concluding a six-day work week. The practice started indoors for a brief period, but then moved outdoors and gave us tons of great stuff to check out. Here are all of our notes and observations from Day 9.
CAMP SUMMARY: Day 8 | Day 7 | Day 6 | Day 5 | Day 4 | Day 3 | Day 2 | Day 1
Notes and Observations
PRESENCE: CJ Gardner-Johnson, Marshon Lattimore, Dylan Mabin, Smoke Monday (knee), D’Marco Jackson, Jerald Hawkins and Jaleel Johnson were among those not seen in practice today. Smoke Monday was placed on injured reserve. East Lattimore would have face a slight muscle pull, and these things happen. He should be considered a minor.
Taysom Hill and Rashid Shaheed were spotted outside working individually with a coach. Hill wasn’t fully padded, but Shaheed was for the second day. Marcus Davenport was spotted inside doing individual rehab work.
Kiko Alonso joined the squad yesterday and was there training with number 47.
OFFENSIVE PROCEDURE NOTES: There has been no change here. As we’ve seen for a while now, Landon Young gets reps on walkthroughs as the right tackle. However, today he worked a lot as a starting right tackle during team drills. James Hurst, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy and Cesar Ruiz were the other linemen. Substitutes, starters and rotation players included Abram Smith, Adam Trautman, Ryan Ramczyk, Adam Prentice, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Tre’Quan Smith, Jarvis Landry, Chris Olave, Nick Vannett, Juwan Johnson, Kevin White and Deonte Harty.
DEFENSIVE PROCEDURE NOTES: The Saints operated out of their base defense today, with no changes along the defensive line with Cam Jordan, David Onyemata, Shy Tuttle and Carl Granderson. Kaden Elliss, Demario Davis and Pete Werner were at linebacker, with Paulson Adebo and Bradley Roby at corner. Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu were safe. Substitutes included Kiko Alonso, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Taco Charlton, Kentavius Street, Albert Huggins and Eric Wilson.
MICHAEL THOMAS: It seems like we keep talking about him every day, but that’s only because of his good looks. Thomas worked 7v7 for the first time today and did not disappoint. He won his two courses against Paulson Adebo because he was very physical and looked like himself. His second victory was a touchdown down the middle after an impressive display. Thomas is Thomas, and that’s all you need to know.
HIGHLIGHTS 1 IN 1: Tons of great action today as we saw the wide receivers hit the corners for this drill.
- Jarvis Landry vs. Bradley Roby – A good pick on Andy Dalton to start things off for Roby. Excellent veteran coverage.
- Michael Thomas vs. Paulson Adebo – Thomas went 2-0 today, winning both of his runs against Adebo. The first was a takedown on the sidelines after physically beating him off the line to free himself from Adebo.
- Score Callaway vs. Vincent Gray – Callaway caught a fade for a score down the right side.
- Kirk Merritt vs. Paulson Adebo – He had an outstanding one-handed hold on a post route to score.
- Dai’Jean Dixon vs. Vincent Gray – He had a touchdown on the right side after a good run.
- Michael Thomas vs. Paulson Adebo – Thomas entered the end zone on a post route. Again, he was physical off the line more than Adebo, and that led to a positive result.
7-ON-7: The Saints put work in the red zone today. Defensively, the first look here included Tyrann Mathieu, which was huge news for him in the build-up period. Justin Evans, PJ Williams, Demario Davis, Bradley Roby, Pete Werner and Paulson Adebo joined him for drills.
Jameis Winston went 2 of 3, hitting Michael Thomas underhand against Justin Evans to open. The second game saw the game blow up after stellar cover from the defense. The third play was an Adam Trautman knockdown in the end zone, but Winston responded by finding Malcom Brown on an optional route for a touchdown.
Second defense looks had Kaden Elliss, Eric Wilson, Bryce Thompson, Pete Werner, JT Gray, Vincent Gray and Alontae Taylor. Andy Dalton went 3 of 3, with the big play coming last on a drive near the Michael Thomas sideline that resulted in a touchdown.
Ian Book finished 1 of 3, knocking down Kawaan Baker in the back of the end zone to start. His next play resulted in a touchdown, finding Devine Ozigbo on a corner route with Kiko Alonso in cover. The final rep saw very good cover from the defense, with Book’s pass thrown at the feet of Dwayne Washington with Alonso in cover, and Tyrann Mathieu made a good attempt to try to recover it after the ball deflected.
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11-ON-11: There were still three separate periods, but there were more assists than normal to open the first exercise. Jameis Winston went 3 of 3, hitting Kirk Merritt, Mark Ingram and Tre’Quan Smith on his passes.
Andy Dalton went 1 of 2, finding Lucas Krull near the sideline and missing Juwan Johnson on the next play on a pretty hard throw. ian Book has completed its only pass, a return route to Deonte Harty. He did a good job of moving into the pocket to find it. Nephi Sewell and Albert Huggins made saves on the next two plays.
The second round of drills came after special teams work, which saw Winston go 1 of 3 here. He knocked down Tre’Quan Smith to start, but connected with Jarvis Landry on a deep touch play near the end zone. Winston did a good job of ramping up the pressure, as Carl Granderson absolutely blew James Hurst. Winston’s last pitch was a post route from Juwan Johnson, but he couldn’t carry a one-handed effort.
Andy Dalton completed his two passes, finding Tony Jones Jr. on a wheel drive for a touchdown to open with Eric Wilson in coverage. It was a great throw from Dalton. His second completion came on play action, as he rolled right to find Jarvis Landry for a short encounter. Deonte Harty got a throw in the final game.
Ian Book went 3 out of 3 here, mostly logging on short routes. He hit Malcolm Brown first, then Devine Ozigbo offside, then a wide receiver screen for Kawaan Baker.
The last period focused on working in the red zone. Winston went 1 of 2, hitting Alvin Kamara into the left side flats for a score. His second pass just missed Easop Winston Jr. Winston did a great job of navigating the pocket, and he had Winston Jr. open for a score. He just missed a throw he would like to recover. We saw some good run stops from David Onyemata and Tanoh Kpassagnon.
Andy Dalton went 3 of 3 here, bringing the offense into the end zone twice from the 10-yard line and the 4-yard line. They started at the 18-yard line. Two plays later, Dalton punched Tony Jones Jr. on a play he took, then followed up finding Devine Ozigbo on the inside with Kiko Alonso and Eric Wilson on the cover.
Ian Book went 1 of 2 here, with Scott Patchan breaking his first pass to the line of scrimmage after starting the series with a run. It blew up Sage Doxtater and affected the room. The third play saw Book keep it on an option play designed to the right, which Payton Turner stopped. Book closed team drills to find Jarvis Landry on a quick outing from the 4-yard line.
ALONTAE TAYLOR: The correct way to pronounce his name is ALON-TEE, for those interested. It is said on Twitter to simply call him “Tae” in the future, which is what his teammates call him.
On a different note, it’s good to see how far he’s advancing. He’s very self-aware, saying he didn’t get the practice he wanted on Friday. He mentioned that he took a dip in his technique, but that was something that was easy to fix. He works a lot with Paulson Adebo.
Taylor also had one hell of a special teams rep working at the jammer with JT Gray. Dai’Jean Dixon seemed to have the early leverage after coming out of the initial block, but Gray and Taylor recovered well to nullify anything else. Taylor ended up pinning him down.
CARL GRANDERSON: He’s been in the spotlight a lot more with the absence of Marcus Davenport, taking on first-team reps opposite Cam Jordan. He’s had a good camp so far, only relying on momentum from OTAs and minicamp. It’s his run defense that stands out the most. He said after practice that his playing weight would be 285 pounds this year. It’s a huge leap for him, but he looks solid there.
PLAY IN THE RAIN: We had a decent period of showers, with rain falling steadily at some point. However, the practice continued. Wil Lutz worked and scored all three of his shots despite the wet conditions, and then went 3 of 3. He only missed one kick during camp, and he came inside.
Kirk Merrit: He flashes constantly, and between him and maybe Scott Patchan, they’re the standouts of camp that aren’t one of the obvious guys. Merritt has a rough ride with the other receivers on the team, so it will be interesting to see what happens with him in the preseason and such. An honorable mention as a promising player would go to Tony Jones Jr., who had another great day of practice.
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